Saturday, 3 Dec 2022

Robbie Williams ‘could’ve dropped dead’ from eating too much fish

The One Show: Alex tells Robbie Williams he’s ‘our favourite’

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“I was eating fish twice a day and I’ve got the highest mercury poisoning the doctor has ever seen,” Robbie Williams said. “Do you know what I thought when I heard that? ‘I’ve won!’” he added. “That’s how my ego works.” The father-of-four joked: “I’ve got the highest… did you say the highest? Thank you. I literally won the mercury award.”

The Mercury Prize is an annual music prize awarded for the best album release in the UK by a British or Irish act.

Williams elaborated: “I got my mercury tested because my wife’s neurotic and she gets all sorts of tests all the time.

“Anyway, thank God, because I could’ve dropped dead of mercury and arsenic poisoning.”

Following his alarming test results, Williams “went plant-based the next day”.

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Mercury is reported as “highly toxic to humans” by Medical News Today, and symptoms of mercury poisoning include:

  • Nervousness or anxiety
  • Irritability or mood changes
  • Numbness
  • Memory problems
  • Depression
  • Physical tremors.

Eventually, a build-up of mercury in the body can lead to muscle weakness, a metallic taste in the mouth, nausea and vomiting.

Mercury poisoning can also lead to a lack of motor skills, an inability to feel in the limbs, changes in vision, and difficulty breathing.

Eating seafood – such as swordfish, shark, white tuna, pike, and bass – is the most common cause of mercury poisoning

The Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition (SACN) and the Committee on Toxicity have guidelines when it comes to eating fish.

When it comes to shark, swordfish, and marlin, all expectant mothers – and those hoping to become a mother – should not eat this type of fish.

All other adults “should eat no more than one portion per week”.

All pre-menopausal women and girls should eat no more than two portions of oily fish weekly; a portion is equivalent to 140g.

Women trying for a baby, or who are expecting, should have no more than four cans of tuna per week, or two tuna steaks.

“These figures are based on a medium-sized can of tuna with a drained weight of around 140g per can and a 140g cooked steak,” the experts noted.

The NHS says that uncooked shellfish can contain “harmful viruses and bacteria” that can lead to food poisoning.

Examples of shellfish include: mussels, clams, and oysters, which may also contain “toxins” that do not break down during cooking.

Contaminated shellfish can lead to:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhoea
  • Headaches
  • Numbness
  • Breathing difficulties
  • Memory loss
  • Disorientation
  • Abdominal pain.

“Allergies to fish or shellfish are quite common and can cause severe reactions,” the NHS adds.

Robbie Williams: Reel Stories is showcasing on BBC Two on Saturday, October 1 at 8.45pm.

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